Planetside 2 Will Have Free Component, Shop

By Jim Rossignol on July 13th, 2011 at 9:04 am.


While SOE don’t seem ready to reveal the exact business model for Planetside 2, they have said that the game will have a “free component” and also a cash shop. Speaking to Planetside Universe Smedley said:

There will be a cash shop for the game however the goal is not to sell power. For example we would sell things like customization because we would like there to be a massive amount of ways to customize your characters. So people could recognize you or your outfit out of a group. We will not sell a more powerful gun or vehicle.

Quite what this means isn’t clear, although it sounds promising. I am hoping it will mean that we get free reserves to keep the numbers up and a premium option for the more dedicated players.

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40 Comments »

  1. Dreamhacker says:

    Sounds reassuring. I guess they noticed the Eve debacle.

  2. Squeeby says:

    Yay! I always wanted to try Planetside, but didn’t want to pay for it when i might not have enjoyed it.

  3. unlimitedgiants says:

    Hats.
    Planetside 2 should be TF2 on a global scale, with unlimited hats.

  4. Ovno says:

    Ace i would have payed a sub for this, but free because other people want to buy hats works for me…

  5. Cerzi says:

    Still don’t trust Smedly one bit, but clearly he is at least aware of what people want in a F2P system.

  6. Dawngreeter says:

    I approve. They can proceed with the game.

  7. Batolemaeus says:

    Sounds like Battlefield Heroes to me.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Didn’t read the article then eh? Battlefield Heroes allows you to buy items that make you more powerful than other players. This is more like LoL which just allows you to pay for aesthetics.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Don’t know much about Battlefield Heroes then eh?
      Dig up some statement made before pay to win was introduced to that game..they read exactly the same.

  8. jon_hill987 says:

    As long as the cosmetic items are not over the top and stupid. Nothing worse than an eastern European/Russian character running round with an American football helmet…

  9. Tei says:

    I hope the game is not optimized for small scale infantry only battles. Planetside is about large scale battles, with hundreds of players using different military devices.. tanks, quads, jets…, placing mines and turrets.

  10. Nicholas Totton says:

    There goes all interest in that game. Sigh…

    • Surgeon says:

      Yeah, I don’t want to play a sequel to one of the best games of all time either, just because it has a shop where you pay to customise your character.

    • aircool says:

      Whut? A F2P component, microtransactions that only sell cosmetic items and the usual MMO stuff (presumably respecs, name changes, server transfers and the like) and presumably, a bog standard subscription model.

      Really, when you compare the amount of time you spend in some games to how much they cost, they’re the cheapest entertainment you can get.. bar one of course. However, some people even pay for that!

    • Nicholas Totton says:

      Sorry that I don’t agree with you guys, but I refuse to play games with micro transactions. I think it’s a shady business model, and I don’t want to be a part of a game that had aspects of its design being influenced by trying to find the best way to nickle and dime people as best they can without pissing them off. Unless there is a way to earn every single one of those items in game and it’s not made ridiculously difficult just to make no sane human being ever willing to work that hard to unlock the item then I don’t want to play the game.

      It sucks having standards and morals, but I stick to my beliefs and this is one of them.

    • Minicow says:

      If you intend to avoid using products or services from any company that’s looking to make as much money as possible, well good luck living without buying literally anything.

  11. aircool says:

    Sounds good to me. I’m quite prepared to shell out a monthly sub if the game is as good as the previous one. As for paying for cosmetic items and the like, I suprised myself at how comfortable I was buying costume kits for Champions Online and Star Trek Online, and, I’d hate to work out the amount of hard cash I’ve spent on Battleforge (which is an EA game ffs).

    The last time I was so stoked over a game being released was waaay back in the 90′s (XCOM or TIE Fighter). If you truly enjoy playing a game, it’s quite jolly to splash out on a few (and cheap) cosmetic extras.

    • TormDK says:

      Agreed. I resubbed to EverQuest 2, and noticed the SC Shop.

      I payed 40 euro for the newest expansion, but I’ve spent more than 40 euroes on the SC shop so far – for cosmetic items.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I would never spend money on such silly things. But if they can make the game run from those foolish enough to then it’s ok by me. Problem is, I see them abandoning that fairly soon in and start selling better guns etc. Just remember when it happens that I called it.

  12. CMaster says:

    Honestly, while I played Planetside, I was only ever a reservist. It was a good game in a lot of ways, but got far too repetitive, too fast to justify the mammoth sub + purchase costs.

    • aircool says:

      By the time the reservists were introduced, the game had been ruined by CC and BFR’s. Whilst these errors were sort of corrected, too many people had lost interest and never came back.

      I resubbed a few times, but because many of my mates didn’t, a lot of the magic went out of the game, and hooking up with other outfits just wasn’t the same.

    • Sardaukar says:

      I really wish more people would say that bit- the BFRs are fixed. They are powerful, if you’ve got a dedicated gunner in it with you: My friend and I took out two Prowlers and held a line with my Aphelion. However, I am no longer certed to use it because it wasn’t justifying its hefty certification price. They are slow, Orbital Strike magnets. When an OS does not kill you, it’s likely that a hail of rockets and such will force you to crouch to sustain the shields… and then it’s just a matter of time before the rest of the army- the one that can fight effectively on the move- has either advanced or retreated. The only time you’ll get kills in it are by sheer luck or stupid foes, as anyone who doesn’t wish to fight can escape it… and plenty of people that can kill it can catch it.

      That same friend and I now hunt them with a Magrider or two Fury ATVs, both far more mobile and effective. The BFRs are workable supporting a large army, providing a strong backbone and armor-suppressive firepower, but expect to be the primary target of the enemy and for any prey of your own to be scarce.

  13. Rangst says:

    This is the same thing that made me stop playing TF2…

  14. Acefrog says:

    I am torn between being happy and being sad for this.

    Being F2P which it seems it may be going means we get a good healthy population – Even the bad-mouthed ‘kiddies’ but whos complaning about being able to shoot idiots? and cash saved in my wallet.

    But I really hate MT shops, even if just for customization. It just makes the game.. ugly?

    Although a good example of a well done F2P game is League of Legends, although you can buy power, itis very limited and capped. But the game is doing REALLY well.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yes. Problem is Planetside never justified a subscription fee. It was boring before you had played it for a month. It’s the kinda game you would go back to sometimes casually, like most shooters. But god no to a subscription.

      Subs in general piss me off, especially after the GW2 devs said servers don’t cost very much to run, definitely not enough to justify a subscription. The reason for the sub is they have a shite business model.

  15. Dachannien says:

    The F2P component is likely to encourage cheating, same as it did in the original Planetside back when they had trial accounts. Cheating still happens in Planetside even when it’s subscription-only, but to a much lesser extent.

    SOE says they’re putting a lot of resources into anti-cheat solutions, including a third-party anti-cheat package and a team dedicated to counteracting cheating (probably a CS team that just bans cheaters), but if there’s a F2P component, people will create new accounts specifically so they can cheat until they’re detected.

  16. Kazang says:

    I called it.

  17. mwoody says:

    Oh well good, this will save me some money, then, not buying or playing or at all caring about this game. That was nice of them.

  18. C4Cypher says:

    tl;dr: This shows evidence that SoE is going to avoid the mistakes that killed the first game.

    Planetside is a game that evokes powerful nostalgia and a touch of bitterness. It was a superb game, unlike anything else on the market (okay, there was some WWII shooter … but I forget what it was called.) It captured the spirit of a wide scale battle, and operating as part of a unit in that battle unlike anything else then or since.

    Sony Online Entertainment had a glorious thing, and considering how they handled the game, it ended up being pearls before swine. They killed it.

    Planetside was popular at a time when Everquest was in full swing, and people were still talking about yet another upcoming expansion to add to the EQ content pile. The AAA MMO that EQ had set the standard for (and WoW eventually took the torch with), was still a relatively new business model, and at that point it was incredibly profitable for SoE.

    They attempted to apply the expansion concept to Planetside, and the result was not only a failure, it destroyed the game and shattered the user base.

    The first expansion introduced exclusive weapons and zones, creating a stark difference in the standard of play between the two. A far greater problem was that, when the battle progressed into one of the caves, armies were split between those who had the expansion, and those who did not. This is what killed it, map density.

    The strength of Planetside was the persistent world to battle over, but more importantly, massed battles involving a thousand players to a map. This included assaults upon heavily defended bases, huge tank battles, squadrons of reavers flying in formation as they performed strafing runs. It was glorious.

    The caves thinned out the pitched battles on the surface, and the fights in the caves themselves were nowhere near as satisfying. It didn’t help that they were difficult to navigate, and not nearly as fun to play in. The release of the two expansions marked the start of a rapid decline in the number of players and servers. This snowballed, as the less players online, the smaller the battles … until it was rare to find a solid fight, instead spending a great deal of time going through the dull process of taking undefended base after base. It became hard to justify the experience while having to pay $15 dollars a month. I miss that game.

    This article gives hope that SoE has possibly learned from those mistakes. Going for a possible FTP with Microtransactions (ala the current and massively successful TF2 and LoL) is a terrific idea for a viable business model.

    Skipping the monthly fee is a huge positive indicator, as the ongoing cost discourages continued play, making it completely free is a surprising and welcome development. The most important thing about this is the fact that the best experiences in the first Planetside came from having a massive player base. Conducting a business model that supports this is a smart move if SoE wants to keep their customers.

    How do you make it profitable? I think that the store is another good choice. The announcement that game-play advantage will not be on sale is huge, a commitment to avoid a mistake that helped to kill the first game. At the same time, that leaves us with customization. TF2 hats, League of Legends skins … being able to express yourself in a manner to distinguish you from the crowd … for less than it takes to eat out at anywhere fancier than Taco Bell … is a hugely attractive bonus. Some players are staunch about not putting a dime into this business model, but the longer one plays, the more temptation there is to spend money, if not to support the game, then to get that badass looking armor or Outfit logo.

    With these thoughts in mind, I have high hopes for this, and pray that Planetside 2 ends up being more epic than it’s predecessor was.

    PS. Smurfs rock, Barnies and Chaingunners suck, NC forever.

  19. Daiv says:

    You know… I’d kinda like to see publishers explore the “really really cheap sub” business model.

    $15 a month? Crazy money. No sale.
    $5 a month? Let me pay you so hard my credit card numbers are branded on your face.

    Alternatively, go for the original TF2 model. Sell a box with no sub, then slowly add paid cosmetic items starting a few months later.

  20. DOLBYdigital says:

    Great news for me… I just can’t justify a sub for any game since I don’t have as much free time for gaming anymore. So I’m happy that a ‘free component’ is mentioned although that doesn’t mean anything really… I’ll wait til I hear a confirmation that it is free to play, I have a feeling they will offer a small amount of hours per week for free with a sub giving unlimited hours… Hope not though

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